Cancer patients ‘denied last wish’

An estimated 260 Beds cancer patients each year are denied their last wish to die at home rather than in hospital, according to a cancer charity.

Now Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a report, Time To Choose, with recommendations to improve choices for cancer patients at the end of their life.

The charity is also urging the government to make social care free for all in the last weeks of life.

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Macmillan chief executive Ciarán Devane said: “As the government makes up its mind about whether to fund and implement free social care at the end of life, thousands of people with terminal cancer are being left to die in hospital beds against their wishes. This is putting an unnecessary strain on our A&E departments because people are not getting access to social care for themselves or for their carers which would enable them to be cared for in the comfort of their own home.

“It’s simply not good enough to pay lip service to this issue – we need to see action. If the government wants the NHS to deliver world-class care at the end of life in the UK, it needs to start by giving people a real choice about where they die.”

> To contact Macmillan for information or support, call 0800 808 00 00 or see www.